The Olympic Games postponement will probably cause a lot of changes in the global sports calendar for 2021.
One of the biggest competitions scheduled for next year is the 19th FINA World Championships in all aquatic sports in Fukuoka (Japan). The planned dates are July 16th – August 1st.
After the International Olympic Committee’s statement about the postponement of the Games in Tokyo, FINA issued an announcement in which wrote:
“FINA will now work closely with the host organizing committee of the 2021 FINA World Championships in Fukuoka, with the Japan Swimming Federation and with the Japanese public authorities, in order to determine flexibility around the dates of the competition, if necessary and in agreement with the IOC.”
But, the FINA World Championships will be held in 2021 for sure. Cornel Marculescu, FINA’s executive director, told the Associated Press there is no chance of the Championships being moved to 2022. If the Olympic Games are held in the summer, FINA probably will have to change the dates of the World Championships. But, if the Tokyo Games are organized at the beginning of the year, maybe FINA won’t need to touch the dates.
John Coates, the IOC’s Coordination Commission chief for Tokyo, told Japan’s Yomiuri newspaper that the IOC was working to arrange a July-August window. Coates said that the games would be held between the tennis Grand Slams of WImbledom (mid-July) and the US Open (starts in late August). But, Coates also said that the summer scheduling would be dependent on avoiding clashes with the world championships in aquatic sports and athletics (August 6th – 15th). The International Athletics Federation (IAAF) is ready to postpone its championships for 2022.
One thing is certain – the Olympic Games must be held before the FINA World Championships since the Tokyo Games are a part of the qualification process for the water polo tournaments in Fukuoka.
The rules of the World Championships’ qualifications are the same for the men’s and the women’s tournament. Let’s take a look.
Qualifications for the World Championships
The 16 teams will compete at each of the tournaments at the World Championships. Qualification competitions are the World League, the Olympic Games, and the continental tournaments.
-The best two (2) teams from the 2020 World League (the competition is postponed to September/October)
-The best four (4) teams from the 2020 Olympic Games not already qualified as the host nation or from the World League
– Nine (9) teams from the five (5) continents (continental qualifications or continental championships), if they are not qualified as the host nation, from the World League or the Olympic Games. The nine teams will be selected according to the following formula:
a) Europe – 3
b) Americas – 2
c) Asia – 2
d) Africa – 1
e) Oceania – 1
The male squads of Hungary, Spain and Montenegro and the female teams of Spain, Russia and Hungary have secured participation in the World Championships since they won medals at this year’s European Championships. But their “tickets” for Fukuoka maybe won’t be the medals at the continental competition.
For example, if Hungary’s male team wins 1st or 2nd place in the World League and reach the semifinals at the Olympic Games, then the 5th-placed team at the Tokyo Games will secure a spot at the World Championships.
After all six berths from the World League Olympic Games are distributed, the remaining nine tickets will be allocated according to the ranking at the continental competitions.
This is the qualification formula for the FINA World Championships that are held after the Olympic Games. In the pre-Olympic year, the four-highest ranked teams from the preceded World Cup secure their spots at the World Championships (instead of the best four at the Olympic Games).